Category Archives: Videos

Scott Coker on Wanderlei Silva-Chael Sonnen faceoff scuffle: 'One shove – that's OK'

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured Videos, News, Videos

NEW YORK – Scott Coker said there will be no repercussions for the brief scuffle between Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva at today’s Bellator NYC pre-event press conference.

During their first faceoff in more than four years, Silva (35-12-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) shoved Sonnen (28-15-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) during the photo op. Sonnen tried to respond, but before he could move forward, Bellator President Coker and on-stage security intervened.

Coker previously said he would try to avoid such a situation and preserve the 205-pound headliner, which takes place at Madison Square Garden in New York City and airs on pay-per-view following the Bellator 180 portion of the card on Spike and MMAjunkie.

There was contact anyway, and though not ideal, Coker said he was glad the situation was quickly contained.

“I wanted to get right in the middle of that because I didn’t want anything bad to happen,” Coker told MMAjunkie. “When Chael had that water bottle, I was like, ‘Oh, I know where this is going.’ We don’t need any headaches like that. Let’s let the fight happen on Saturday.”

Although staredowns serve a purpose in generating pre-fight excitement, Coker said it’s ultimately not worth the risk. If things go off the rails, the fight could be in jeopardy, but Coker said he’s glad it didn’t go that far.

“One shove – that’s OK,” Coker said. “But if it got any worse – I don’t want the fight to happen here at the press conference when they could get hurt. Then what? The fight’s off? I always tell the guys, I whisper in their ear, ‘Hey guys, no one gets paid tonight. Everyone gets paid on Saturday night. So keep that in mind when you’re doing your thing.’”

The final in-person showdown between Sonnen and Silva is set for Friday’s ceremonial weigh-ins. Coker said he will take extra measures when the rivals come face to face, but he said the emotions from both sides shows the level of disdain heading into the grudge match.

“I know Wanderlei is still emotional and upset,” Coker said. “He wants to kick Chael’s ass. That’s what I think. But I think Chael – he wants to fight Wanderlei too, but I think Wanderlei a little bit more.

“I just feel the anger in Wanderlei. But he fights like that all the time. At the end of the day, I think we are going to have a great fight on Saturday.”

For more on Bellator NYC and Bellator 180, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, Featured Videos, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Wanderlei Silva, Chael Sonnen nearly scuffle at Bellator NYC faceoffs

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, Featured Videos, News, Videos

NEW YORK – To the surprise of virtually no one in attendance, Bellator NYC headliners Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva needed to be separated during their faceoff at today’s news conference.

Sonnen (29-15-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) and Silva (35-12-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) have been dancing toward this moment for years now in a rivalry that was brewing when both were in the UFC coaching opposite each other on a Brazilian season of “The Ultimate Fighter.”

On Saturday, they meet in the main event of Bellator’s second foray into the world of pay-per-view at Bellator NYC, which takes place at the famed Madison Square Garden in New York City. The main card airs on pay-per-view following Bellator 180, which has a main card on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

Sonnen and Silva remained calm, for the most part, during the news conference itself. But when it came time to meet on the stage with Bellator President Scott Coker in the middle, Sonnen told Silva early on to keep his distance, lest the two come to blows. They slowly inched toward each other, and when they were close enough, Silva gave his opponent a shove. Naturally, that caused the intervention of Coker and security personnel on the stage to keep things under control.

Sonnen and Silva were joined at the news conference by heavyweights Fedor Emelianenko (36-4 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) and Matt Mitrione (11-5 MMA, 2-0 BMMA), who meet in Saturday’s co-main event; welterweight champion Douglas Lima (28-6 MMA, 10-2 BMMA) and challenger Lorenz Larkin (18-5 MMA, 0-0 BMMA); lightweight champ Michael Chandler (16-3 MMA, 13-3 BMMA) and challenger Brent Primus (7-0 MMA, 5-0 BMMA); and Aaron Pico (0-0 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) and Zach Freeman (8-2 MMA, 0-0 BMMA).

Check out the video above to see today’s faceoffs and the Sonnen vs. Silva altercation.

For more on Bellator NYC and Bellator 180, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, Featured, Featured Videos, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Kevin Lee says he'll 'mentally break' Chiesa: 'He don't want to get beat up in front of his mama'

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LAS VEGAS – Kevin Lee is not really expecting to finish Michael Chiesa on Sunday.

But that by no means indicates any lack of confidence on Lee’s (15-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC) end. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. The way the lightweight sees it, the longer their UFC Fight Night 112 headliner goes, the rougher things will get for Chiesa (14-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC).

“He’s tough,” Lee said during a media scrum at UFC headquarters in Las Vegas on Monday. “He’s going to stay in there for 25 minutes. I think that’s going to play even more into my game. It’s going to let me really showcase my skills. I think I’m built for five rounds.

“When you get into those championship rounds, skill sets everything apart. It’s no longer how fast, how strong you are, because you’re both tired. It’s going to be the skill, and the skills are going to shine.”

Lee’s breakdown of the FS1-televised scrap, which takes place at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla., comes down to one premise: “Everything that the man do, I do better.” And he thinks that it’s Chiesa’s awareness of that very fact that allowed Lee to get into his head.

“I think he understands that I’m just a better fighter,” Lee said. “When it boils down to skill vs. skill, I’m younger, faster, more experienced, stronger. I’ve got all the balls in my court, baby. I think he understands that, and that’s why he gets frustrated. And he’ll get frustrated. After two minutes of the first round, he’ll understand.

“Mentally, he’ll break. He’s going to stay in there for the long run. He’ll go into a defensive shell. He don’t want to get beat up in front of his mama. So he’s going to go into a defensive shell and try not to get knocked out. But he’s going to be in for a long night, baby.”

While Lee’s self-confident promotion style is certainly nothing new, his recent record helps back it up. After an upset loss to Leonardo Santos in 2015, the second defeat in Lee’s career, he’s gone on to beat his following four opponents. Only one of them made it past the second round. He is an honorable mention in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA lightweight rankings.

Set to end a more than year-long layoff, No. 9-ranked Chiesa brings in similar numbers. Since a 2014 loss to Joe Lauzon, also the second setback of his entire professional run, he’s been on a three-fight streak. Of those, two were finishes – including a submission over lightweight standout Beneil Dariush.

Lee and Chiesa even carry near-identical pro records, with Lee edging out Chiesa by a single fight. But, as far as Lee’s concerned, the cage is where their similarities end.

“We’re polar opposites in every way,” Lee said. “He’s a country boy from the middle of the railwoods. He drives an old pickup truck. I’m out here in Las Vegas driving a Benz and wearing a couple of grand on me. We clash in every way, shape and style. The man’s still rocking a mullet, for God’s sakes.

“So I’m just trying to get the people – one of us has got to have some style in this game. It’s only two of us. I’ve got to pick up the slack for both of us.”

Lee may believe the fight “sells itself,” but its protagonists certainly helped move the process along at last month’s “UFC Summer Kickoff” press conference. After Lee referenced his mom, Chiesa lost his temper, and the two had to be pulled apart by security after a near-scuffle onstage.

Does that mean that the beef between the two is real? Well, in a way, Lee’s beef with every single one of his opponents is quite real.

“I take it very personally because – Tim Hague just died doing this,” Lee said. “It’s serious stuff. It’s not a game, it’s not a joke. I know I’m taking years off my life to do this. I’ve kind of already come to terms with that when I signed that line. Whenever I sign that agreement, I know. It might be a one-in-a-million chance, but if you’re the one, who gives a (expletive)? You’re the one, it’s a 100 percent chance for you. You could die out there. So I take it very seriously. I take every fight very seriously. I take it very personal.

“When you’re coming after me, when you sign that line to fight me, we ain’t friends. I don’t really (expletive) with you, I don’t really know you, I don’t want really to know you. I don’t watch his interviews, I don’t give a damn about him. I’ll say that to him, I’ll say that to his mama, I’ll say that to his grandmama. I’ll say it to anybody.”

To hear more from Lee, check out the video above.

And for more on UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator's Scott Coker: Champ Douglas Lima is 'the best welterweight in the world right now'

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Sorry, Tyron Woodley. But for Bellator CEO Scott Coker, the 170-pound division has another undisputed king across the board.

Douglas Lima is a killer,” Coker said in a promotional video leading up to Saturday’s Bellator NYC pay-per-view affair at Madison Square Garden in New York. “I’ll say here, he is the best welterweight in the world right now.”

OK, so Coker may be a little biased. But a look at champ Lima’s record show the claims are not completely without merit. Since his Bellator debut in 2011, Lima has only two losses. The most recent, a title-costing one to Andrey Koreshkov, was later avenged – with Lima re-claiming the belt in the process. Of his 28 career wins, a whopping 24 were finishes.

Lima (28-6 MMA, 10-2 BMMA), who’s also No. 13 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA welterweight rankings, puts his belt on the line against No. 7 Lorenz Larkin (18-5 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) – a former 205-pounder who makes his Bellator debut on the heels of major UFC wins over contenders Neil Magny and Jorge Masvidal.

Of course, the 170-pound crown is not the only one up for grabs at Saturday’s event. Lightweight champ Michael Chandler (16-3 MMA, 13-3 BMMA) also tries to keep his majesty when he meets undefeated Brent Primus (7-0 MMA, 5-0 BMMA).

Dubbed the “Mike Tyson of Bellator” by Coker, the champ is clearly feeling up to the task.

“Brent Primus is young, tough guy,” Chandler said. “I’m excited for him. But I’m as close to unbeatable as I’m ever going to be in this sport.”

Primus, however, has some high-caliber support speaking on his behalf. Chael Sonnen, who headlines the card in a long-awaited meeting with longtime foe and MMA legend Wanderlei Silva, is encouraged by what he saw in training with the up-and-comer.

“As fighters, we all know who the best is,” Sonnen said. “We all know who’s where in that weight class. I’ll tell you right now: Michael Chandler, he’s got problems with Brent Primus. Primus is the right guy for this job.”

To hear more from the people involved in Bellator NYC, check out the video above.

And for complete coverage of Bellator NYC and Bellator 180, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, Featured Videos, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

At long last, Wanderlei Silva and Chael Sonnen see rivalry come to a head at Bellator NYC

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(This story appears in today’s edition of USA TODAY.)

NEW YORK – MMA has had many big rivalries in its history, but the fighters in Saturday’s Bellator NYC main event believe theirs is chief among them.

Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva will settle a seven-year beef when their long-awaited grudge match unfolds at Madison Square Garden in New York and headlines just the second pay-per-view card in Bellator’s history (10 p.m. ET).

Separately, Sonnen (29-15-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) and Silva (35-12-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) have been involved in some of the most famous rivalries in MMA history. This one, however, doesn’t compare to anything prior.

“This is the biggest rivalry in the MMA world,” Silva, from Brazil, told USA TODAY Sports. “It’s one of the last real rivalries. He talked bad things about my country, talked some bad things about my friends. After that, I don’t like him. Some people you like, some you don’t like. Him, I do not like.”

Chael Sonnen

The genesis of the feud stems from Silva’s anger over Sonnen’s repeated derogatory comments about Brazilian people. But the tension really picked up when the pair coached opposite each other on the third Brazilian season of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series.

During filming, Sonnen and Silva got physical and the result was a full-blown brawl.

“Wanderlei knew he was going to attack me that day and I just had no idea what was going on,” Sonnen said. “I remember fighting with him and he was hitting me in the back of the head. It never crossed my mind that one of his buddies would jump in. I remember being very upset about that.”

Silva has a difficult recollection.

“He’s the wrong guy because he touched me first,” Silva said. “He pushed me and he took me down in front of my people in my country. This is enough for me. Like my dad says, ‘You can never play with a man.’”

After the show’s conclusion, Sonnen and Silva were scheduled to fight at UFC 175 in July 2014. But the bout fell apart when both had drug-testing issues, which ultimately led to multi-year suspensions.

Sonnen made his return in January and was submitted by Tito Ortiz in the first round. It was “the easiest fight I’ve ever been given and I lost,” Sonnen said. On Saturday, he’s determined to rebound.

“No one loses to Tito – he’s terrible,” Sonnen said. “He’s just awful, and he beat me in a fair fight. That’s just the reality. I never want to feel like that again. I never want to lose to a bum again, and I have another bum this weekend.”

Silva hasn’t been in a fight since March 2013, but said he plans to make up for lost time against a hated foe.

“It’s going to be very easy,” Silva said. “I hope he does better this fight because I want to fight two or three (rounds) and just beat him.”

Personal disdain and theatrics aside, Sonnen said he’s eager for his first victory in nearly four years. Settling the score with Silva in the process is simply a bonus.

“As far as a personal grudge, it’s No. 1,” Sonnen said. “Wanderlei is a cage fighter and I’m a cage fighter. You’ve got these new guys that are ‘martial artists,’ whatever that means, coming out in bathrobes with belts and bowing at each other and talking about respect. This is a cage fight between two half-naked men for a paycheck and the applause of a drunken audience.”

For more on Bellator NYC and Bellator 180, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, Featured Videos, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Video: Watch today's Bellator NYC press conference on MMAjunkie at 11 a.m. ET

Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos

NEW YORK – Prior to Saturday’s big event, you can watch today’s Bellator NYC press conference live here on MMAjunkie beginning at 11 a.m. ET (8 a.m. PT).

The media event takes place at Viacom’s headquarters in New York. The nearby Madison Square Garden hosts Saturday’s event, which includes a Bellator NYC pay-per-view card following prelims (Bellator 180) on Spike on MMAjunkie.

Attendees include Bellator CEO Scott Coker, headliners Chael Sonnen (29-15-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) and Wanderlei Silva (35-12-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA), co-headliners Fedor Emelianenko (36-4 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) vs. Matt Mitrione (11-5 MMA, 2-0 BMMA), welterweight champion Douglas Lima (28-6 MMA, 10-2 BMMA) and opponent Lorenz Larkin (18-5 MMA, 0-0 BMMA), lightweight champ Michael Chandler (16-3 MMA, 13-3 BMMA) and opponent Brent Primus (7-0 MMA, 5-0 BMMA), and main-card opener Aaron Pico (0-0 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) and opponent Zach Freeman (8-2 MMA, 0-0 BMMA).

MMAjunkie is on site and will have full press-conference coverage.

For more on Bellator NYC and Bellator 180, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 112's Felice Herrig doesn't know what UFC is going to do with her

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Filed under: Featured, Featured Videos, News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

After beating Alexa Grasso, UFC women’s strawweight Felice Herrig figured she could write her own ticket in the division.

Grasso was billed by many as the next big thing when she took on Herrig at UFC Fight Night 104 in Februarh. Herrig was a stepping stone on the way to bigger fights. Instead, Herrig picked apart the Mexican prospect for a unanimous decision.

Now, Herrig is not so sure what’s in her future. She thought she might steal Grasso’s thunder. A booking against Justine Kish (6-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 112 left her scratching her head as to the promotion’s plans.

“With the way the UFC does things, I really don’t know,” Herrig (12-6 MMA, 3-1 UFC) told MMAjunkie about her upcoming bout on the event’s FS1-televised main card at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla. “I thought beating Grasso, an undefeated prospect that’s supposed to be the next big thing and pretty close to the next title shot, I thought that would put me directly (in line for a title shot). And it didn’t.”

Of course, Herrig was probably getting ahead of herself. A two-fight winning streak doesn’t usually qualify a UFC fighter for a title shot, and with fighters like Claudia Gadelha, Rose Namajunas and Karolina Kowalkiewicz in the picture, she appears to have much work to do.

But at the same time, Herrig would like a little more clarity about what she needs to do to break through the pack in the 115-pound division.

“I think the true fans who really follow the sport know what’s up know that the UFC rankings don’t mean that much,” she said. “But I don’t know what the UFC is going to do with me. It depends on them. I just want to keep getting better.

“I don’t know if it’s going to be recognized. I know what I’m capable of, and I know I’m a hard fight for anybody. But I just feel sometimes like I get looked over.”

Herrig has tried her best to make sure that doesn’t happen. Perhaps more than anyone else in her division, she pays attention to marketing. She unapologetically uses her sexuality to get the male-dominated UFC fanbase to watch. In doing so, she’s exposed herself to the dark corners of the Internet, which preys on female fighters.

“That’s why I don’t look at my comments – ever,” she said. “Here and there, I see them. You can’t avoid it. But even the good ones, I appreciate the comments that are nice. But in all actuality, none of it really means anything, whether it’s a good or a bad comment.

“It’s a shame that people abuse it and treat you like you’re not a person. Because if people actually knew, I’ve cried over things people have said and the way people have treated me in the past. And that’s why I don’t give myself as much as I used to, because it’s like, for what? You’re giving a piece of your soul, and they don’t always appreciate it. So sometimes, it’s like, why waste the energy?”

Now in her eighth year of professional MMA, Herrig doesn’t want to waste any more time with her career. She’s been a reliable presence in women’s MMA for almost a decade, but she needs it to pay off in a measurable way.

“I’ve really just solidified myself over the years as a true MMA fighter, and I feel like I get labeled what people want to label me, and how they want to market the fight,” she said. “But I don’t mind being the underdog. It’s less pressure on me.”

Herrig and Kish are just about even in the odds leading into Sunday’s fight, so it appears some fans continue to see Herrig as the underdog. Despite a 3-1 record in the octagon, they haven’t seen her strength.

But Herrig plans on showing them just that on Sunday night.

For more on UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator 180's James Gallagher eyeing title: 'I'm not here to just be this young, cocky kid'

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured Videos, News, Videos

NEW YORK – At just 20 years old, James Gallagher is ready to take the fight world by storm.

Gallagher (6-0 MMA, 3-0 BMMA), a teammate of UFC champion Conor McGregor, may be somewhat green as a professional, but he has an extensive amateur background and believes he is well beyond his years as a competitor.

He faces Chinzo Machida (5-2 MMA, 2-0 BMMA) on Saturday at Bellator 180, which takes place at Madison Square Garden in New York City prior to the Bellator NYC pay-per-view. It’s his biggest fight to date, but Gallagher said he’s been ready for the spotlight since he quit school at 15.

“This is where I belong,” Gallagher told MMAjunkie. “I don’t belong anywhere else. Why shouldn’t I be comfortable here? This is what I do. This is what I love to do and what I strive off. A lot of people think that just because I’m young and on such a big stage that I should be uncomfortable and this kind of thing. This is what I strive for, this is what I love to do. I don’t want to be anywhere else but here.

“When I was 15 years old, that’s when I decided this is what I want to do. I had 10 amateur fights and I was at school and I hated school. I wasn’t good at school and I was getting bad grades. … I just couldn’t do it anymore and wanted to get out and just wanted to train. Then I quit school when I was 15. I told my parents, ‘I can’t do this any more, but I can do (MMA).’ No one in Ireland was in the UFC at the time. There was no set path or anything like this. I told them I would work hard at this.”

Gallagher credits his parents for supporting him when he bailed from school and decided to follow a career in martial arts. Thus far, it’s paid off. “The Strabanimal” has put together six consecutive wins to start his pro career, including three under the Bellator banner.

Machida, the brother of former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida, is Gallagher’s most challenging opponent to date. He brings a karate-based style which can be a complicated riddle for many foes to solve. Gallagher said he’s not worried about that, though, because he intends on making Machida figure him out, and not the other way around.

“I have a tough opponent in front of me, but he’s limited,” Gallagher said. “He moves back and forward in straight lines and he’s just got that one style. I’ve got it all. I’ve got the striking, I’ve got the clinch, I’ve got the ground, I’ve got the in-close boxing, and I’ve got the distance fighting. I’ve got that karate style, as well. I can do all that. I started off doing karate. I feel I’ve got it all, where he’s got that one style.”

Gallagher hopes his fight at Bellator 180 will help catapult him up the featherweight pecking order. He is the youngest fighter in the division, but already feels as if he’s the best. Gallagher is ready to be fast tracked into a championship showdown with Patricio Freire as soon as possible, he just hopes that Bellator has the same confidence in him as he has in himself.

“I’ll fight for the belt tonight if they give it to me,” Gallagher said. “I wanted that belt when I first signed with Bellator and I made it clear. That’s what I want. I’m not here to just be this young, cocky kid. I don’t give a (expletive) about all that. I’m coming here to win fights and make statements and that’s what I’m coming here to do and preparing to do. I want the belt. That’s what my goal is.”

For more on Bellator NYC and Bellator 180, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, Featured Videos, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Ryan Bader says new pay structure will allow him to be more free in cage at Bellator 180

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, Featured Videos, News, Videos

NEW YORK – Ryan Bader believes spectators will have a chance to see a new side of him on Saturday when he makes his Bellator debut against light heavyweight champion Phil Davis at Bellator 180.

Bader credits the change to the way in which he’s financially compensated under the Bellator banner. After a 20-fight UFC career in which he was paid under the “show” and “win” money model, “Darth” will get lump sums for his bouts with Bellator, no matter the outcome.

Although his determination for victory won’t change, Bader (22-5 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) said being paid in full will make a difference in how he performs against Davis (17-3 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) in their Spike-televised title fight at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The Bellator: NYC main card airs on pay-per-view.

“There’s a couple different structures: UFC likes to use a show and a win structure where if you show up, you get a certain amount and if you win you usually get the same amount – double,” Bader told MMAjunkie. “The thinking is you’re going to go in there and fight your ass off to secure half your pay.

“Sometimes it works out the opposite to where you’re so much better at a certain discipline than somebody else, you’re going to use that. If I’m a wrestler and I’m fighting a striker, I’m going to do everything in my power to keep it on the ground. Obviously I try to finish every fight, but you’re also thinking that you have to get the half your pay by any means necessary – whether that’s taking him down and try to just ground and pound on the ground and it ends up being a boring fight.

“With a flat fee, which I have with Bellator, you go out there and you’re not fighting for that extra, so you can fight however you want. You’re not going to be reckless, but you can let loose a little more. It’s more free. You’re getting payment no matter what and you go have a great fight for the fans.”

Bader’s previous mentality led to him being one of the most successful light heavyweight fighters in UFC history. He signed with Bellator as a free agent earlier this year, and said it’s a goal to showcase the full extent of his abilities in his new promotion.

The Bellator environment might be fresh for Bader, but the matchup with Davis is not. Bader is quite familiar with “Mr. Wonderful” due to an extensive history which dates back to their days as collegiate wrestlers. They also fought under the UFC banner, which Bader winning a narrow split decision over Davis at UFC on FOX 14 in January 2015.

In Bader’s mind, the Bellator 180 bout represents a trilogy with Davis. He lost in wrestling but won in MMA, and now he wants to close things out in emphatic fashion.

“I wrestled him in one of the quarterfinals of the national tournament and he beat me in a close match,” Bader said. “That was always brought up before our last fight. He has a win over me in wrestling, I have a win over him in MMA and here we go. Here’s the third fight for a belt and the winner gets a trophy.

“It’s fun to look back and have a competitive history with a guy. He wants to get that fight back and I want to make an even bolder statement with this fight.”

For more on Bellator NYC and Bellator 180, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator 180's Chinzo Machida trusts experience in 'martial arts as a whole' to make a difference

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Featherweight Chinzo Machida has only one more pro MMA bout over his opponent, but he’s still banking on experience on Saturday.

Machida (5-2 MMA, 2-0 BMMA) is a unique case. At 40, he’s only had seven MMA bouts, which were basically spread throughout a 12-year period. Meanwhile, Bellator 180 opponent James Gallagher (6-0 MMA, 3-0 BMMA), who happens to be half Machida’s age, only kicked off his pro career in 2015 – after a significant amateur run.

Looking at records alone, it doesn’t seem like there’s much of an experience advantage. But, with a lifetime of karate and a former UFC champ for a brother, Machida’s numbers are deceiving.

“I really trust my experience,” Machida told MMAjunkie. “Not only my experience in MMA, but in martial arts as a whole. I’ve been training (karate) since I was four, and following my dad’s teachings. I’ve been following Lyoto’s trajectory in MMA for a long time, too. I think experience will make a difference.”

Bellator 180 takes place Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The Bellator: NYC main card airs on pay-per-view following the Bellator 180 undercard on Spike.

There have been a few reasons for Machida’s timid record. More recently, between 2014 and 2016, he was recovering from a shoulder injury. Before that, there was karate – which, for him, entailed competing, teaching and promoting the Machida family’s specific, defense-driven style. And then, of course, there was a lot of focus put into helping with his brother’s very successful MMA career.

But Machida is now on a roll. After a TKO over Mario Navarro to kick off his Bellator run this past August, he went on to dispatch Jamar Ocampo at at Bellator 170 with yet another knockout. And, currently free from any serious injuries, he credits his background for helping him perform at a high level.

“I’m feeling fast and strong in training,” Machida said. “And Machida Karate, which we’ve adjusted to a more ‘real’ type of contact fighting, has also given us the ability to defend ourselves without letting our opponents hit us. This is one of our weapons, and it allows us to lead long lives in martial arts.”

Machida still trains with Lyoto, who’s currently serving an 18-month suspension following a USADA violation, and says his brother’s absence from the cage in no way disrupts his own training. Kings MMA leader Rafael Cordeiro also helps hone his striking.

While there was specific ground and defensive work done to prepare for an opponent who’s finished all but one of his professional fights via submission, Machida says he’s keeping an open mind as to where their bout can go.

“I can’t think that he’s strictly a jiu-jitsu guy, that he’s going to take me down and do jiu-jitsu alone,” Machida said. “The fight starts on the feet, so I need to be prepared both to attack on the feet and to defend on the feet.”

The future, should he manage to stop “The Strabanimal” train on its tracks, is one that Machida is still not putting too much thought into. But looking to be a part of Bellator’s roster “for a lot longer,” he admits his current situation has sparked his ambition a bit.

“Every fighter in there has a dream, which is to be a champion,” Machida said. “I’m no different. But one step at a time. My challenge is Gallagher. I have to watch out for him, he’s a dangerous guy. We’ll see what happens, but my dream of being a champion has awakened even more.”

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Source: MMA Junkie